Vernon Samuels – Triple jump

Vernon’s success in athletics was in the triple jump, and this began at a very young age. He earned the title of All England Schools’ Champion when he was just 14 years old, and he then represented England in the British Schools’ Championships. Vernon competed in the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games in 1988 and 1990 respectively.

What made you want to become an athlete?

I have always loved watching athletics on TV since the Olympic Games in 1972, and then later I chose to pursue in an activity that I could excel in.

What has been your proudest moment to date?

Competing in the Olympic Games in 1988.

What does your typical day involve?

When I was training in season during my international career my typical day consisted of a jumps session plus a track running session or weights session.

Who or what inspires you to get up in a morning?

The thought of using the day to contribute to a session or gain some learning to call on at a big moment in a major competition or event.

What do your friends and family think about what you do?

Friends and family are supportive about my athletics career but don’t make a big fuss about my achievements.

How did you get to where you are today?

My PE teacher at school invested a lot of time to support me in achieving my first national All England Schools triple jump title (Under 15).

Looking back, is there anything you would change/do differently if you could?

I would have more confidence in my ability to develop a strong social network with the amazing people that I have met.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of following in your path?

Dare to dream of achieving something amazing and be prepared to go after the dream with all you have and all you are.

How do you use sports science to support your training/performance?

– Testing in the lab to gauge VO2 max for fitness levels during winter training.

– Body fat measurement to gauge levels of fat being carried.

What kind of hobbies do you do to relax?

Public speaking, gospel music singing, radio programme presenter.

Have there been any embarrassing moments?

My shoe once broke part way through a jumping competition and I had to finish competing with my toe poking out of the end!